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National Award for Plymouth Schools

The National Citizen Service programme run by the Trust is proud to honour three schools from their network of partners with Champion School status.

The awards are rated from Bronze up to Platinum and recognise the schools’ willingness to support their students in the programme and the level of participation they have achieved, such as the number of students that take part in the programme as well as the number of NCS driven events they co-host at the school.

The nationally backed programme, running since 2011, sees school pupils aged between 15-17 years old take part in the scheme to earn themselves additional qualifications signed by the Prime Minister.

Todd Hanrahan, NCS Programme Manager said: “It’s been fantastic going around to all the schools to show how appreciated they are – both staff and students – after all the hard work they have put in. It’s been really rewarding for us at the Trust to have them involved with our programme and this is a lovely way of saying thank you and leaving a legacy.”

Devonport High School for Girls, Notre Dame and Torpoint Community College are the three schools that have been recognised for their standout work and support of the scheme, receiving Platinum, Gold and Bronze, and each receiving glass plaque to showcase their status and a selection of books to add to their libraries.

“I didn’t realise how competitive the teachers were across the schools and how this opportunity to encourage the students to continue learning outside of the classroom has influenced both staff and student in a really positive way,” added Todd, “It really is a great programme where often the soft skills outshine the qualifications, seeing shy people grow in confidence or trying something they’ve never done before, it’s really rewarding.”

Platinum award winners Devonport High School for Girls said: “We are proud to be awarded Platinum Champion School status. It is great to work with the Argyle Community Trust to empower students, build employability skills, contribute to social action projects and to feel unstoppable together.”

The aim of the NCS is to help the individuals build up their portfolio as well as build on their character into more well-rounded individuals, helping them prepare for their next step – whether that’s university, an apprenticeship or straight into the workplace.

Running between 2 and 4 weeks students experience living away from home, enjoying outdoor activities and games and then returning to their home city to undertake workshops with businesses and training providers to build on their CV, and then put into practice all their newly earned skills by volunteering their time providing solutions for businesses and charities. Previous projects have seen students create a garden for residents at a care home, restore and paint benches in local parks, work with charities to help spread the message of their work and educate other young people in their communities.

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